The Tools of the Trade identified by various sources include several items. The most considered items not in the other categories are flashlights, security guard belts, and medical/first aid kits. Other items include pocket CPR masks, pocket knife or multi-tool, and rescue tools (for getting people out of vehicles). Some items, such as devices for opening locked vehicles, are restricted as to who can have them, so would be available only to certain security agencies or sworn officers (whether a church safety & security ministry is eligible may be in question).
Security Guard Belts –
A security guard (or police) belt serves the same purpose now as the Roman soldier’s belt did in Paul’s time. It is there to hold things up – not the pants, but the safety team member’s tools, communicators, and weapons. It needs to be strong enough to carry the equipment without folding over and bunching. It should be broad enough to be comfortable. Most security belts are either nylon or leather. The nylon is usually a woven or braided mesh. Leather belts may be mesh or smooth. The belt is not intended as a fashion piece, but looks are important, It should contribute to a professional appearance as well as being functional.
The most recommended is a flashlight. Almost any reliable flashlight with a strong enough beam may generally be acceptable for illuminating dark corners and seeing at night, but some are more suitable for use on a church safety team. A large enough or heavy enough flashlight may also serve as a defensive weapon. The importance of this item is shown by its top average ranking in lists of equipment recommended for security guards.
The Church Security Article “Equipped for Service” briefly notes the requirements for a security team flashlight. Sheepdog Church Security founder Kris Maloney covered this in much more detail in a paper, “Essential Equipment: The 5 Essential Equipment Report.” He covers benefits of flashlights for a safety/security ministry, key considerations in choosing a flashlight, and features. This closely follows the “5- Essentials” paper.
Benefits of a Flashlight –
What are the benefits of a flashlight for a church safety team member?
- Portable: A strong beam can be aimed in any direction.
- Control: It allows you to use your dexterity with precision.
- Handy: Set it down and pick it up as needed. It lets you take care of other tasks.
- Coding: Use the flashlight for signaling or as a beacon.
Key Selection Factors –
When selecting a flashlight for safety and security work, consider three factors –
- Light output: How bright is the flashlight? Can you control the brightness and beam width?
- Type of battery, runtime: Is the battery rechargeable? How powerful? How long can it be used before replacing or recharging the batteries?
- Size, weight: Smaller and lighter flashlights are easier to carry and hold. Larger ones may be more durable, may shine longer, and can double as defensive weapons. Larger ones are also easier to find if they have to be set down.
Flashlight Features –
Technology – Flashlights of the same size and weight often differ in their technology and price. Advanced technology usually comes with a higher price. This includes battery performance (especially storage capacity) and LED technology.
Flashlight Performance – Check the packaging for the performance data for the flashlight you’re considering. Standards for flashlights – ANSI FL1 – were issued in 2009. These include specified tests to determine the level of performance of the unit in six functional areas:
3-Peak Beam Intensity
Light Output – The light output is determined after allowing time for the bulb to warm up to full illumination, between 30 and 120 seconds. This lets the lights be measured fairly, whether incandescent, LED or halogen lights.
Run Time – Beginning when the light is turned on, this is the time it takes for the measured light output (above) to dim by 10%.
Peak Beam Intensity – Many of us have noticed that there is a bright spot near the center of our flashlight beams. Peak Beam Intensity is how bright the light is in the brightest part of the beam as measured at certain distances and calculated to figure the candelas.
Beam Distance – Calculated to determine the distance at which the intensity of the beam is 0.25 lux. (According to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary, one lux is “a unit of illumination equal to the direct illumination on a surface that is everywhere one meter from a uniform point source of one candle intensity or equal to one lumen per square meter.”)
Water Resistance – This is one of three ratings –
- IPX4 (Water resistant): resists splashed water.
- IPX7 (Water proof): temporarily resists penetration of water in depths up to 1 meter.
- IPX8 (Submersible): Can be submersed up to four hours at the depth specified in the rating (e.g. IPX8: 30 feet).
Impact Resistance – This is from how high the flashlight can be dropped onto concrete and still function.
Tactical Flashlight – Tactical flashlights are so named because they were designed to be mounted on firearms, such as shotguns. Therefore the materials (aerospace grade metals) and designs make them shock-resistant and waterproof. They may also have special features, such as gripper surfaces, small size, and roll-resistant profiles. Some have adjustable beams, from very broad to pin-point, and strobe lights or blinking beams.
Medical/First Aid Kits –
There are actually two things to consider here. One is the medical and first aid supplies box or cabinet for the Safety Ministry and the church. The other is a mini kit on the person of a Safety Team member. The Church Security Article “Equipped for Code Blue” covers what is needed in a first aid kit or medical supplies cabinet.
Pocket CPR Masks –
This is another item listed in “The 5 Essential Equipment Report.” The Church Security Article “Caring for Sudden Illness” lists Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) as the response to a heart attack or cessation of breathing. A CPR mask both facilitates the mouth-to-mouth breathing portion of CPR and protects the patient and the responder.
Pocket Knife or Multi-Tool –
Variously recommended by several are folding pocket knives, and multi-tools. The reason is that these items can be used in several ways for fixing things and treating or helping people. The famous multi-tool for many of us is the Swiss Army Knife. The Leatherman is the better-known one today. They each have several tools in one, such as pliers, knives, saws and screwdrivers. Leatherman multi-tools are listed by several suppliers of security officer supplies, such as Galls.
With multi-tools, the temptation is to get the model which has the most tools on it. However, it is better to select one that is simpler, still having the tools you are most likely to need. The reason is that in an emergency, it is quicker to find and open the tool you need instead of taking time to look for it. Along this line, a multi-tool is more usable the more it is used, since you will be more familiar with it.
Rescue Tools –
Also listed by Galls are a number of rescue tools, such as the resqme (rescue me). Rescue tools also include tactical pens. They are usually used to extricate an accident victim from vehicles by cutting or breaking a window, deflating air bags, and cutting seat belts. These are more likely to be for the team as a whole rather than for individual members.
The Most Important Security Tools
The most important tools for security work are not physical items we hold and manipulate in our hands. They are tools of the mind, spirit, and heart.
In “The Tools of the Trade” – an article written in December 2000 by Mark D Hardison, CPO (Certified Protection Officer) and reprinted the following Fall under the banner “Knowledge to Protect” by the International Foundation for Protection Officers – the most important “Tools of the Trade” for security officers are things such as “an alert mind and a keen eye”, “being an impartial observer of events”, recording or writing down what we actually saw and heard, knowing how to do the mundane things (like sending a fax), and willingness to learn and teach. These things are what enable us to properly use the physical items which we consider the tools of the trade.
To these we may add self-control, patience, and compassion – the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Just before telling us to put on “the belt of truth,” Paul said that our fight is not against foes of flesh and blood, but against spiritual authorities and powers (Ephesians 6:12). These spiritual forces and sinful human nature are often behind many physical threats we encounter. It is when spiritually and mentally equipped that we can use physical equipment to meet physical threats in a manner appropriate for a Church Safety Ministry.
Sheepdog Church Security -
– Church Security Guide
“Church Safety Ministry Launch”
“Church Safety Team Academy”
– Church Security Articles
“Equipped for Service”
“Equipped for Code Blue”
“Protecting the Church in a Professional Manner”
– The Church Guardian(monthly newsletter)